Games industry expects E3 to deliver updates on next generation consoles

Exhibition expected to command attention as Sony and Microsoft showcase their next generation consoles, sparking next console war

People walk past a Batman sign outside E3 2013, the Electronic Entertainment Expo which runs from June 11th to 13th, in Los Angeles, California.

People walk past a Batman sign outside E3 2013, the Electronic Entertainment Expo which runs from June 11th to 13th, in Los Angeles, California.

 


Games fans and industry heavyweights will descend on Los Angeles this week as the annual E3 event gets under way.

The exhibition is expected to command greater attention this year as Sony and Microsoft showcase their next generation consoles, sparking the next console war. Microsoft unveiled the Xbox One at its headquarters in Seattle last month, promising 15 exclusive titles for the new games device. But the company only gave a brief glimpse of the games that it planned to offer, leaving many dissatisfied.

Microsoft’s press event, which takes place this morning, will reveal more about games such as Forza Motorsport 5 and new franchise Quantum Break.

The Xbox One is aiming to be a more all-round entertainment device, with Microsoft planning to tempt users with extras such as intelligent TV and an improved Kinect that will allow wider use of voice commands.

Sony, meanwhile, is expected to give games fans the first look at the PlayStation 4 hardware. When it unveiled its plans for the console at an event in New York in February, it concentrated more on what would be inside the box, and the games that would come to it, leaving gamers to speculate what the PS4 would look like.

Handheld console
The company also talked about its acquisition of cloud gaming firm Gaikai, and the ability to stream games to the Playstation Vita handheld console, both of which may be discussed in more depth at E3. Sony’s press conference will take place at 6pm in Los Angeles.

Both firms are facing questions about the role that used games will have on the new consoles, with speculation in recent weeks that there may be a fee involved to allow users to play preowned games on both consoles. However, Sony has yet to detail what its plans are and although Microsoft has attempted to clear up what its policy will be, confusion persists.

“Today some gamers choose to sell their old disc-based games back for cash and credit. We designed Xbox One so game publishers can enable you to trade in your games at participating retailers. Microsoft does not charge a platform fee to retailers, publishers, or consumers for enabling transfer of these games,” the company said on its new website.

However, it also said third party publishers “may opt in or out of supporting game resale and may set up business terms or transfer fees with retailers”.

200 exhibitors
Last year’s E3 drew 45,000 attendees including games industry professionals, analysts and media, with 200 exhibitors taking space on the show floor. Mobile games have become an increasingly large part of the show in recent years as the casual gaming sector grows.